Chiropractor who stole Patient's pills gets 2 years

June 12, 1992|By Peter Hermann | Peter Hermann,Staff Writer

A District Court judge yesterday sentenced a chiropractor convicted of stealing medication from a patient at an Arnold clinic to two years in jail and fined him $500.

Judge Donald M. Lowman suspended the prison sentence and placed Cataldo "Kip" Bompiani, of Dallastown, Pa., on 18 months of supervised probation and ordered him to undergo frequent urinalysis tests.

Assistant State's Attorney Anne L. Colt asked for "at least a token jail sentence," community service and a stiff fine for the 31-year-old man, who has been suspended from practice in Maryland.

"He doesn't admit he has a problem with drugs," Colt said, adding that he blames the victim, Diana Barnett, of Stevenson. "He says she set him up. His past history has been a denial."

Bompiani was convicted on two counts of theft in February after police accused him of stealing prescription medication from Barnett, who sought treatment for severe back pain in August 1991.

She testified that after her first visit to Bompiani, at the Yalich Clinic, she noticed several of her pills, which contained codeine, were missing. She said she was suspicious because Bompiani had left the room with the pills, saying he had to check the contents.

Before she saw Bompiani again, Barnett said she counted of pills she brought into the office. After Bompiani again left the room with the pills -- a generic drug similar to Valium -- Barnett said some of the medication was missing.

The woman said Bompiani admitted taking the pills when she confronted him with the evidence. Police said Bompiani told the woman he had a drug problem and "begged her not to call the police."

Bompiani denied the woman's story, saying he never confessed to the thefts and never told her he had a drug problem. In an inter

view the day after he was charged, Bompiani admitted he had a drug problem in the past, but said he had kicked his habit.

Bompiani had been suspended from practice in Pennsylvania for 10 years beginning Jan. 22, 1990, the day he pleaded guilty to 31 counts of illegally obtaining or possessing prescription drugs from four drug stores near York.

He was sentenced Feb. 26, 1990, to six to 23 months in York County prison, but was released 20 days later on parole.

Bompiani's attorney, Daniel M. Pell, of York, said yesterday that Pennsylvania authorities may find him in violation of his probation because of his conviction in Maryland. He said his client will appeal his conviction to Circuit Court.

Bompiani told the judge that he plans to move to Pittsburgh in the next 10 days to pursue a job with his brother in the heating and air-conditioning business. He said he also plans to enroll in computer classes in June.

"I want to get as far away from the health-care profession as possible," he said. "I just want to get my life rebuilt and back on track."

Colt said she didn't think that was possible. "He has a problem in Pennsylvania, so he just moves to Maryland to do the same thing," she said. "It is absolutely outrageous that a person can walk into a doctor's office and have their medication stolen."

Judge Lowman said he agrees. "You have done a good job of screwing up your life, probably better then most," he told Bompiani. "There is merit in what the state's attorney is saying. When you betray the trust that people put in you, maybe you do belong in jail."

The judge gave Bompiani, who said he didn't have any money, xTC two weeks to pay the fine. He also ruled that Bompiani must serve his probation in Maryland, meaning he must make regular trips to Anne Arundel County to check in with the authorities.

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